Can charitable giving help avoid conflict for your heirs?

As we’ve discussed in the past, one of the important parts of estate planning is helping family to avoid conflict after you pass away. It is a difficult time for any family, and a good estate plan can offer guidance and make the process of settling unresolved affairs much easier.

If avoiding conflict and finding a meaningful way to create a legacy is the goal, then Texas residents may want to consider a plan that involves giving assets to charity. This is one way to establish realistic expectations about the future and set a good example for future generations.

Focusing on philanthropy is the approach of many notable individuals from Bill Gates to Warren Buffet. The two businessmen have repeatedly publicised their plans to give away a majority of their wealth to charity while encouraging their family to work hard and make their own contributions. In fact, many help give younger generations a sense of purpose and importance by establishing a family foundation where everyone works together to help the community.

There is certainly no one-size fits all approach to estate planning, but making a proactive plan to avoid conflict is advisable in many situations. Setting up trusts during life and allocating funds to different causes using a will is one way to make sure that everyone in the family understands what they are getting without concern about dividing it up themselves. The important thing, as always, is to have a detailed plan and properly executed documents to avoid confusion or a prolonged probate process.

Source:CNBC, “Smartest Decision Ever Made by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett,” Constance Gustke, June 3, 2013